Deer Resistant Perennials

Due to our lush landscaped yards, Ashland is the deer’s “breadbasket”. Deer are browsers. They consume their total food intake in many different locations throughout the night and they eat an estimated 6 to 8 lbs. of green leaves, stems, flowers, fruits and buds of woody plants a day.

One way to diminish the severity of deer damage is to select plants considered to be “deer resistant”. The pictures below are a few deer resistant plants growing in my unfenced front yard. We have 2-4 deer resting in our front yard nightly and to date these plants have never been damaged. Please remember “resistant” does not mean deer won’t ever eat these plants! Deer seem to change their food preferences every year, and fawns in particular like to taste test everything just to check out if it’s palatable. Good Luck!

Salvia Microphylla – Hot Lips
Height: 2 to 3 feet
Spread: 1 to 2 feet
Bloom Time: August – October
Bloom Color: Bi-color white & Red
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to low
USDA Zone: 7 to 9


Salvia Elegans- Pineapple Sage
Height: 3 to 4 feet
Spread: 2 to 3 feet
Bloom Time: August – October
Bloom Color: Red
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium to low
USDA Zone: 8 to 11
Considered an annual in our area but can winter over.
Hummingbirds love this flower!

Penstemon BarbatusBearded Tongue or Beardlip Penstemon
Height: 2 to 3 feet
Spread: 1 to 1.5 feet
Bloom Time: June until frost
Bloom Color: varies (Red, Purple, White, Pink)
Sun: Full sun
Water: medium
USDA Zone: 4 to 8

Crocosmia “Lucifer”
Height: 2 to 4 feet
Spread: 1 to 2 feet
Bloom Time: June – August
Bloom Color: Scarlet red
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
USDA Zone: 5 to 9

List of Other Deer Resistant Perennials ( Seldom Damaged)

  • African Lily: Agapanthus sp.
  • Asparagus: Asparagus officinalis
  • Aster: Aster sp.
  • Astilbe: Astilbe sp.
  • Baby’s Breath: Gypsophila sp.
  • Beebalm: Monarda didyma
  • Black-Eyed Susan: Rudbeckia sp.
  • Blazing Star: Liatris sp.
  • Bugloss: Anchusa sp.
  • Butterfly Weed: Asclepias tuberosa
  • Candytuft: Iberis sempervirens
  • Cardinal Flower: Lobelia sp.
  • Carnation: Pinks Dianthus sp.
  • Columbine: Aquilegia sp.
  • Common Yarrow: Achillea millefolium
  • Coralbells: Heuchera sp.
  • Crocosmia: Croscosmia sp.
  • Cyclamen: Cyclamen sp.
  • Feverfew: Chrysanthemum parthenium
  • Foam Flower: Tiarella cordifolia
  • Foxglove: Digitalis grandiflora
  • Gas Plant: Dictamus alba
  • Goldenrod: Solidago sp.
  • Hardy Geranium: Geranium macrorrhizum
  • Heartleaf Bergenia: Bergenia sp.
  • Hens and Chickens: Sempervivum sp.
  • Iris: Iridaceae
  • Jacob’s Ladder: Polemonium caeruleum
  • Japanese Anemone: Anemone x hybrida
  • Ladys’ Mantle: Alchemilla sp.
  • Germanders: Teucrium
  • Lavender: Lavandula
  • Bergamont: Monarda fistulosa
  • Lemon balm: Melissa officinalis
  • Peppermint: Mentha × piperita
  • Spearmint: Mentha spicata.
  • Lance Coreopsis: Coreopsis lanceolata
  • Lupine: Lupinus sp.
  • Maltese Cross: Lychnis chalcedonica
  • Meadow Sage: Salvia nemorosa
  • Mist Flower: Eupatorium coelestinurn
  • Mullein: Verbascum sp.
  • Oregano: Origanum vulgare
  • Obedient Plant: Physostegia sp.
  • Oriental Poppy: Papaver orientale
  • Patrinia: Patrinia scabiosifolia
  • Peonies: Paeonia
  • Pincushin Flower: Scabiosa caucasica
  • Plume Poppy: Macleaya cordata
  • Primrose: Primula sp.
  • Red-Hot Poker: Kniphofia tritoma
  • Rhubarb: Rheum rhabarbarum
  • Rue Anemone: Anemonella thalictroides
  • Rosemary : Rosmarinus Officinalis
  • Sages: Salvia officinalis
  • Savory: Satureja montana
  • Sea Thrift: Armeria maritima
  • Skunk Cabbage: Symplocarpos foetidus
  • Snakeroot, Bugbane: Cimcifuga sp. (poisonous)
  • Sneezeweed: Helenium autumnale
  • Snow-in-Summer: Cerastium
  • Soapwort: Saponaria sp.
  • Speedwell: Veronica sp.
  • Spiderwort: Tradescantia sp.
  • St. John’s Wort: Hypericum calycinum
  • Stokes’ Aster: Stokesia laevis
  • Swamp Milkweed: Asclepias incarnata
  • Thyme: Thymus Vulgaris
  • Toad Lily: Tricyrtis hirta
  • Trillium: Trillium sp.
  • Trout Lily: Erythronium
  • Violets: Viola sp.
  • Virginia Bluebells: Mertensia virginica
  • White Boltonia: Boltonia asteroides
  • White Snakeroot: Eupatorium rugosum (poisonous)
  • Yarrow: Achillea filipendulina
  • Yellow Wax-Bells: Kirengeshoma palmata